Burton and Another v De Vere Hotels: EAT 3 Oct 1996

Two black waitresses, clearing tables in the banqueting hall of a hotel, were made the butt of racist and sexist jibes by a guest speaker entertaining the assembled all-male company at a private dinner party.
Held: The employer of the waitresses had racially discriminated against the waitresses. Had the assistant managers in charge for the evening been properly instructed, the two young women would not have suffered embarrassment. They could, and should, have been withdrawn from the room. An hotel is liable, as an employer to its employees who had been offended by racially charged or offensive material uttered by a guest speaker by a guests’ guest speaker. The employer could have taken steps to intervene, but did not do so.


Smith J, R Chapman, Lord Gladwin


Times 03-Oct-1996, [1997] ICR 1, [1996] IRLR 596, Independent 04-Nov-1996


Race Relations Act 1976 4


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedChief Constable of Bedfordshire Police v Liversidge EAT 21-Sep-2001
The Chief Constable appealed against a refusal to strike out a claim by the respondent that he had racially discriminated against her. Force members had used code words for racially abusive terms about her. The claim was that he was vicariously . .
OverruledMacDonald v Advocate General for Scotland (Scotland); Pearce v Governing Body of Mayfield School HL 19-Jun-2003
Three appeals raised issues about the way in which sex discrimination laws were to be applied for cases involving sexual orientation.
Held: The court should start by asking what gave rise to the act complained of. In this case it was the . .
DoubtedS S Hussain v HM Prison Service EAT 1-Mar-2002
EAT Race Discrimination – Direct . .
CitedChief Constable of Kent County Constabulary v Baskerville CA 3-Sep-2003
The claimant sought damages for sex discrimination by fellow police officers in an action against the Chief Constable. The Chief Constable said he was liable for the unlawful acts of fellow officers.
Held: Anything done by an employee was done . .
CitedConteh v Parking Partners Ltd EAT 17-Dec-2010
Where an employee worked in an environment in which her dignity was violated, or which became intimidatory, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive as a result of actions of . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Discrimination, Employment

Updated: 19 May 2022; Ref: scu.78768